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Data From ISIS-SMN Rx Phase 1 Study In Children With Spinal Muscular Atrophy Presented At The American Academy Of Neurology Meeting

ABOUT ISIS-SMN Rx ISIS-SMN Rx is designed to alter the splicing of a closely related gene (SMN2) to increase production of fully functional SMN protein.  The United States Food and Drug Administration granted orphan drug status and fast track designation to ISIS-SMN Rx for the treatment of patients with SMA.  Isis is currently in collaboration with Biogen Idec to develop and potentially commercialize the investigational compound, ISIS-SMN Rx, to treat all types of SMA.  Under the terms of the January 2012 agreement, Isis is responsible for global development and Biogen Idec has the option to license the compound until completion of the first successful Phase 2/3 study.  ISIS-SMN Rx is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1b/2a multiple-dose, dose-escalation study in children with SMA.  In this study, children will either receive two or three doses of ISIS-SMN Rx over the course of the study.  

ABOUT SMASMA is a severe genetic disease that affects approximately 30,000-35,000 patients in the United States, Europe and Japan. SMA is caused by a loss of, or defect in, the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene leading to a decrease in the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN is critical to the health and survival of nerve cells in the spinal cord responsible for neuromuscular growth and function. One in 50 people, the equivalent of about 6 million people in the United States, are carriers of a defective SMN1 gene, which is unable to produce fully functional SMN protein. Carriers experience no symptoms and do not develop the disease. However, when both parents are carriers, there is a one in four chance that their child will have SMA. The severity of SMA correlates with the amount of SMN protein. Infants with Type I SMA, the most severe form of the disease, produce very little SMN protein and have a life expectancy of less than two years. Children with Type II have greater amounts of SMN protein but still have a shortened lifespan and are never able to stand independently. Children with Type III have a normal lifespan but accumulate life-long physical disabilities as they grow.

Isis acknowledges support from the following organizations for ISIS-SMN Rx: Muscular Dystrophy Association, SMA Foundation, Families of SMA and intellectual property licensed from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

INVESTOR EVENTAt 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time Thursday, March 21, Isis will host an investor event and live webcast to discuss ISIS-SMN Rx data presented at the AAN.  A live audio webcast of the presentation will be available on the "Investors & Media" section of the Company's Web site, www.isispharm.com.  A replay will be available for a limited time.  The slides presented at the AAN meeting are available  on Isis' Web site at www.isispharm.com.

ABOUT ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.Isis is exploiting its leadership position in antisense technology to discover and develop novel drugs for its product pipeline and for its partners.  Isis' broad pipeline consists of 28 drugs to treat a wide variety of diseases with an emphasis on cardiovascular, metabolic, severe and rare diseases, and cancer.  Isis' partner, Genzyme, is commercializing Isis' lead product, KYNAMRO™, in the United States for the treatment of patients with HoFH.  Genzyme is also pursuing marketing approval of KYNAMRO in other markets, including Europe.  Isis' patents provide strong and extensive protection for its drugs and technology.  Additional information about Isis is available at www.isispharm.com.

ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS' FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTThis press release includes forward-looking statements regarding Isis' strategic alliance with Biogen Idec, and the discovery, development, activity, therapeutic and commercial potential and safety of ISIS-SMN Rx.  Any statement describing Isis' goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs, including the commercial potential of KYNAMRO, is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement.  Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such drugs.  Isis' forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Although Isis' forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of its management, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Isis.  As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements.  These and other risks concerning Isis' programs are described in additional detail in Isis' annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, which is on file with the SEC. Copies of this and other documents are available from the Company.

In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, "Isis," "Company," "we," "our," and "us" refers to Isis Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries.

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